Ja Rule‘s name is officially cleared in the $100 million Fyre Festival lawsuit. Multiple reports confirm that the rapper will not face charges in the messy fallout from the failed festival.
The judge overseeing the case dropped Ja Rule’s name from the lawsuit because he was believed to not be unaware of the major details that led to Fyre Fest’s demise.
In a recent interview on the Wendy Williams Show, the embattled rapped admitted that he is interested in throwing another event of similar nature, with the right partners of course. He also expressed his frustration with the way he was initially implicated in the fallout, saying, “If it had went off without a hitch, everybody would have said, ‘Oh, look at this great thing that they did.’ Not, ‘Ja Rule thought of it, came to them with the great idea, and they funded it.’ … As soon as it blow up, ‘Look what Ja Rule did.’ How does that work?”
While Ja Rule walks free, Fyre’s mastermind Billy McFarland is serving six years in prison for fraud charges.
In the seemingly never ending fallout from the Fyre Festival disaster, Ja Rule has reportedly walked away with somewhat of a legal victory.
In a court ruling from Judge Kevin Castel, both Ja Rule and Fyre’s chief marketing officer Grant Margolin are decidedly not being held liable for promoting the doomed festival. The ruling concluded that both men, while culprits of helping to convince thousands to attend Fyre Fest, may not have been aware of essential details that would eventually lead to the festival’s demise.
Ja Rule’s attorney, Ryan Smith, asserted that Ja is, “thankful for today’s ruling and for the court’s time and attention … Justice was done today.” While Ja Rule and Margolin are free from conviction, festival mastermind Billy McFarland is still in federal prison as the lawsuit against him and Fyre Media marches on.
Amidst the ongoing backlash from the event’s highly publicized failure, however, Ja Rule couldn’t hold back from engaging in more festival promotion. He and fellow Fyre affiliate Andy King have plans to give life to a Fyre 2.0, which prompts equal parts suspicion and intrigue from the music community. While Ja Rule may have secured a legal victory in court, the Fyre saga has ultimately cost him what little credibility he may have had left.
The Fyre Festival Fiasco is really just the gift that keeps on giving, with everyone still seemingly infatuated by the moment influencer culture nearly imploded into life-threatening and pocket cleaning chaos back in 2017. Though, while the story is largely remembered as a historic shitshow, some good has come out of the Fyre disaster. The episode has sparked various fundraising efforts, with the federal government even auctioning off Fyre memorabilia in an attempt to repay scam victims. Now, one more piece of Fyre Festival memorabilia is up for grabs—the private island itself, and it’ll only set you back a cool $11.8 million.
The island, called Saddleback Cay, was famously touted by the scam’s chief architect Billy McFarland as having been previously owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar. It is one of 365 islands that make up the Bahamas’ Exumas, spanning 35 acres with seven pristine beaches.
The nearly $12 million property is the island featured in the now-infamous promo visual for what turned out to be such a memorably colossal failure, though it is not the final site of the festival itself—that was Great Exuma. Saddleback Cay also is not the actual island famous for being part of Pablo Escobar’s smuggling route—that was another island nearby, Norman’s Cay. Though despite that being the case, the picture-esque Caribbean getaway still seemingly lives up to its lofty asking price.
Belgium’s VestiVille festival was canceled on the first day of its debut following a chain of events that some of its guests have likened to Fyre. At 5pm CET, the fallen event’s official Twitter posted a statement that the mayor of Lommel, the city where VestiVille was taking place, decided to shut things down after it’d become apparent that attendees and artists were at risk.
Troubles began to arise earlier in the day, when A$AP Rocky announced he was pulling out of his slot due to security and production concerns. Upon arrival, concertgoers began posting photos to social media of a barren venue and reporting widespread disorganization and lack of staff. A few joked they were ready to give their Netflix or Hulu interviews. Ironically, Ja Rule was set to play VestiVille as well.
Organizers have since been charged with crimes including money laundering and document forging. Vendors and staff also weren’t paid until hours before the event kicked off. Other artists allegedly set to play VestiVille included Cardi B, Trey Songz, and Lil Pump.
Billy McFarland is apparently spending his time behind bars writing a book about the Fyre Festival experience from his perspective, reports NY Mag. It’s also reported by Josh Raab, a freelance editor who briefly worked with McFarland on the memoir, that the working title—believe it or not—is Prometheus: The God of Fyre. The purpose of the book is to rebut the Netflix and Hulu documentaries which “misrepresented the real events,” according to a letter written by McFarland’s girlfriend Anastasia Eremenko to Raab.
McFarland is spending his six-year sentence hand-writing 800 pages of material, spanning the full outlining of his pseudo-career, from his first investment all the way through the now-infamous Fyre Festival disaster.
Furthermore, it has been noted that the former CEO ad architect of the Fyre fiasco hopes this book will pave the road to a comeback story similar to Jordan Belfort’s who inspired The Wolf of Wall Street. He wrote to Raab, “The Festival will not be a one and done event — it’s happening again.”
Fyre Festival‘s bankruptcy trustee, Gregory Messer, is working toward subpoenas for both Netflix and Hulu after both their respective documentaries were revealed to have mysterious exclusive footage. Reports had already been circling around that both streaming platforms had spent large sums in order to use this footage. According to bankruptcy law, if they payments had been made to the brand as the case had been unfolding, the funds would need to be used to pay off confirmed creditors on the plan. Tracking where the funds were wired to is proving a difficult task at the moment, as is confirming for sure whether or not the footage is a concrete asset of Fyre Festival LLC.
“Due to a lack of information, it is impossible for the Trustee to determine where the footage came from and whether such footage was an asset of the Debtor’s estate,” stated Messer when submitting his paperwork to the bankruptcy judge. Netflix and Hulu have yet to make an official statement on the legal matter.
News emerged this week that attorney’s for Fyre Media are working alongside federal judges to gain approval to subpoena Netflix and Hulu. The legal strategy behind the tactic is hoping one or both streaming services used assets owned by Fyre Media during the production of their documentary series. According to most legal experts…the case is
The line between ambitious and foolish is a fine one, but trust Ja Rule—once credible 2000’s rapper turned “bamboozled” event producer —to walk it. That’s because today the embattled rhymer and fellow former Fyre Festival executive, Andy King, unveiled plans to produce, “the greatest festival that never was,” but for real this time—Fyre Festival 2.0. That’s right, while Billy McFarland, the nucleus behind the most monumental fail in the internet’s still-infant influencer age, languishes in federal prison for the grand-scale finagling he tried to pull off in 2017, his former business partners are hoping to build a real luxury festival experience from the ashes of the first Fyre.
The second, or, rather first real iteration of Fyre Festival, will take place this summer on the Caribbean Isle of Tortuga, once the boisterous pirate blow that was used to be a frequent stop for the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow and other infamous sailors. Fyre Festival 2.0’s talent roster for this year’s event features Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Hardwell, Paris Hilton (DJ set), and Paul Oakenfold drunkenly reading nursery rhymes over a microphone.
“We’re thrilled to actually be making Fyre Festival a reality. Without having to blow anyone, we were able to produce a festival this time around that actually brings a lot more than just American cheese on white bread. This festival is going to be bananas, ya heard.”
Look out for more details on tickets, VIP packages, and cabana bundles as they become available. See the full lineup for Fyre Festival 2.0 here.
The “most iconic festival that never was,” in Ja Rule’s own words, Fyre Festival promised attendees a luxuriant escape from their daily routines. The exclusive event famously devolved, to stray quite far from Billy McFarland‘s vision of a chic, boutique festival rife with VIP guests. The catastrophic conditions that ticket holders faced illustrated a stark difference between the white sand of the private island beach that was to be Fyre Festival’s setting, and the grim, resource-lacking atmosphere that attendees instead occupied. Fyre Festival’s marketing campaigns foregrounded the lithe figures of some of the modeling industry’s most iconic, like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. Cerulean waters and shots of other tropical scenery collectively comprised an alluring natural backdrop that beckoned music lovers to travel to the Bahamian island of Grand Exuma, for the festival’s inaugural installment.
Although the expectations for the festival now famously contrast the disastrous reality that ensued, even The Chainsmokers couldn’t deny the influential character of Fyre Festival’s marketing. The DJ duo admitted that they lusted over a headlining slot at the event, following McFarland’s promotion of the multi-weekend affair. “I definitely sent a message to our manager, our agent when this started rolling, before things went south, and was like ‘what’s the deal? Are we going to get an offer for this festival?’” Alex Pall said during a recent interview with radio host, Smallzy. “Bella Hadid is there, and it looks like she’s going to be your best friend if you just buy a ticket,” Pall added.
Drew Taggart chimed in, to acknowledge the persuasive nature of Fyre Festival’s promotional campaign, while comically underscoring the festival’s chief shortcoming: the failure to produce the event as advertised. “They killed it on the marketing… all they had to do was put on a festival!” Drew Taggart said. While The Chainsmokers weren’t tapped to play Fyre Festival, hindsight is 20/20, and clearly portrays the lack of an offer as a particularly fortuitous turn for the “Closer” hit-makers. The Chainsmokers are slated to appear at KAABOO Festival in the Cayman Islands, which is, as Taggart puts it, “what Fyre Festival was trying to do.” Seems like it all worked out.
Andy King undoubtedly made one of the most impactful impressions on viewers of those featured in the Netflix-produced Fyre Festival documentary, released January 2019. For readers who don’t recognize the name, they may recognize the face due to the now-ubiquitous memes, fashioned in his image, encircling the internet:
During the documentary, King recounts an experience trying to secure a large shipment of Evian water to the island of Exuma for the festival. According to King, festival organizer Billy McFarland had asked him to perform oral sex on a customs official, as the pending import was the only water source for soon-arriving attendees. In a recent interview with TMZ, the event producer admitted that he initially “begged” to have his interview removed from the film:
I went to [the producers] and said ‘Listen, I just talked with my lawyers and some of my creative team and they said, ‘Andy, you’ve got to pull that thing. That cannot go in this documentary.’ And when I sat with the director, he said ‘Andy, you don’t understand, without that scene, there isn’t a documentary…’ And that is an integral part, as you know, of the documentary itself.
It seems the director had just cause for denying King’s plea, as King continued that the scene has ultimately boosted his career in more ways than one:
I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if it had been taken out…how have I’ve become this social media hero over a situation like that, I’m in total shock.
King proceeds that he’s since received various opportunities to do TV, film cameos, and “three offers in the past two weeks to do music festivals.” And rightfully so. If anyone deserves a little karmic justice from the entire Fyre ordeal, it’s King.